Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Summer in the USA Part 2

After the first week with the Thompson family.. weeks 2 and 3 were a combination of Schroeder family time and seeing a few friends. The boys had a BLAST with their older cousins and I love that they are old enough to just be off on their own. Best moment:
Lane found a big stick... then says: Jack, are you thinking what I'm thinking.
Jack: YES! What are you thinking?
Lane: let's go hunt some deer with this stick..
Jack: great! and off they ran ;o)
Pretty much sums up the fun they had!

the kids had a bird trap and the birds weren't very smart... they caught 6-8 in one day ;o)

 we had lots of family workout sessions.
 Happy 4th!!!
 Cousins in the matching suits I made.

 lawn games!


 Waiting for the fireworks to start...A pretty good family photo!

 Pizza night..
 Love these two!!
 Boys golf outing.
 The fishing expedition.


 Crazy kids, having a blast!!



 Our attempt to get a photo with our matching swim suits- not successful!!! ;o)
 TA-DA! Max was really good at this with Uncle Will.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Summer in the USA part 1

Best Jet-Lag ever... that is to say we didn't really have any. It was so great to make the long trip to the USA then be able to get good sleep and jump right into family time. We spent our first 4 days in the WI Dells with the Thompson clan.






From there we went to La Crosse to see Bryan's collage friend Paul and his family.. The boys also had a blast here.


We finished out the week/weekend with several days with Shari and Molly just outside Madison. 




We've had a relaxing start to this week and tomorrow all the Schroeders come home for a long holiday weekend. Enjoy yours!!!

Monday, June 16, 2014

YiLi and the trip to China

  As you know I took little YiLi back to the orphanage earlier this week. The organization that brought her to Hong Kong {Christian Action} let me tag a long on the trip and I am glad I went. That being said, leaving her there was one of the hardest things I have ever done. If you haven't heard, we are hoping to adopt her and keep her forever, so leaving her in a home for abandoned children felt wrong. She has a home, with us!! ;o) Unfortunately, for us and her, we are dealing with the beast that is China and it will still be many months before we are able to bring her home for good.
Ill back up for a moment for those of you who I haven't talked to in awhile. We began praying for this situation when we learned that we would be getting a deaf foster daughter. We were very interested in her because this is a special needs condition that we have been open to. After YiLi had been with us for just over a week, we began to more seriously discuss if we wanted to try and adopt her. After trying to adopt for about 7 years, this is something we strongly desire, yet taking on a special needs child is not a decision we take lightly. As I sat in all her dr. appointments and we saw her grow and develop we began to feel strongly that she would fit in great with our family. And the boys adore her!! She learned to sit up the week before her 7th month birthday and seemed to be developing at a normal rate. We believe if she had any delays they were environmental, not genetic, as she picked up and learned to do many things in the time she was with us. 
SO.. leaving her in a baby room where while not the oldest, she was the most developmentally advanced was really hard. The Children's home in Xining is 95% special needs {most of those severe} and any kids that are higher functioning or more mentally capable are in foster care. They do plan to put YiLi in foster care, but she is not yet. They are even going to look for a western, English speaking home for her!! YEAH! 
I met with the director of the home while I was there and the good news is that she agreed to put our name on YiLi's papers when they are sent to the central adoption unit in Beijing. This means she will by-pass the main special needs list and be assigned directly to us. The bad news is that they haven't even started her paperwork and the director kept saying how it could be three months... then 1-2 months being processed in Beijing... SO FOREVER.. or up to 5 months before we hear for sure that this will happen. Once the central until contacts us.. we have 3-4 months of paperwork and prep on our end before we can go get her. I was not planning on the three months of paperwork on the orphanage.. I was hoping they would be ready to send her file much sooner... but this is the situation, so we will just pray!! I made a few contacts {volunteers, missionaries and Christian Action workers} while I was there so I have people to contact and bother over the next few months :o)
Please pray:
1. that she would be put in a foster home sooner than later. first choice a western one, second choice a Chinese foster home.
2. Pray that the children's home would get her papers together faster than the three month time frame
3. Pray that Beijing office would process her papers on the side of 1 month rather than two.
4. pray for us as we wait and think about her being there and not with us for this long waiting time....

We've been waiting on the China list for almost 3 years... It hasn't seemed too bad... life goes on, the boys distract me...but now that I  know what life was like with her.. it seems like something is really missing from our life... These next months will seem much longer than the previous years...I am thankful we have all the photos from her visit and the connections we have to get information about her along the way.

On the plane....
Having dinner in central Xining

 In front of the Children's Home.
 The nurses and staff going through YiLi's things and taking inventory.
 Wearing her hearing aid in the place recommended by the Dr. In the middle of her head the sound will reach both ears at the same time. Its best for language acquisition. She can wear it on the side when out in public. 
 Sleeping in her new bed. With the green blanket that all our kids have slept with. We left it with her.

Lunch out with Lydia

 Remember the baby we fostered last year? here she is...a big 19 month old girl...

at the local market

The home staff in morning exercises.. they do this twice a day...

The next morning, my final visit with YiLi... we had some play time in the room where she will stay..


 


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Kindergarten Graduations

Jack had his end of year party and kindergarten graduation yesterday.. What a fun {and funny} day. For those of you not in Hong Kong, Kindergarten here is like pre-school in the US. So actually Jack will be starting what is the equivalent of 5 year old kindergarten in the fall...
The end of year party was also a Father's Day celebration.
Since I was one of the party organizers I took two photos of each kid... and then we made a double sided frame. I printed the photos before the party was over and each kid walked away with a fun year end frame.


 

 The graduation and concert in the evening.




 Jack's wonderful teacher of the past two years, Mrs Sui



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